The tree choir…

Category: Music and Life

Not  only our bird accompanies me when I play at home, but within a last week I found this quartet (quintet if you count the mom) in the tree next to our house – they were so loud when I started playing my viola one day that I had to go and find them. If only I could figure out if they are approving my playing or if they are annoyed by it and in their bird language are begging me to stop!

Did you know?

On a truthful note, we  have no way of distinguishing between true and false facts.  Surely, some of these are true or have nuggets of truth and history in them, especially those having to do with wedding traditions. Nevertheless, they are interesting…

…Did you know that one of the reasons that professional classical musicians wear black forperformances is that it has been found that black color is less distractive to the audience. Studies have found white color to be more disruptive and listeners have harder time concentrating on serious classical music if musicians are wearing white as oppose to black… 

 …Did you know that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described chamber music (specifically, string quartet music) as “four rational people conversing.” This conversational paradigm has been a thread woven through the history of chamber music composition from the end of the 18th century to the present. The analogy to conversation recurs in descriptions and analyses of chamber music compositions.

…Did you know that it takes at least on average seventy pieces of wood to make a violin?

...Did you know why a wedding ring is worn on the third finger?  It was once believed that a vein of blood ran directly from the third finger on the left hand to the heart. The vein was called vena amori, or the vein of love, and early writings on matrimonial procedure suggested that it would be appropriate for one’s wedding ring to be worn on that special finger. Source: Ever Wonder Why? Douglas B. Smith / Mass Market Paperback / Published 1992

… Did you know that in the 1500’s most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

… Did you know that the second Saturday in September is a popular date for weddings, but not in 2004 when the second Saturday fell on September 11th.  Most couples did not want their wedding anniversary to fall on that date.

… Did you know that a wedding shower originated with a Dutch maiden who fell in love with an impoverished miller.  Her friends “showered” her and her groom with many gifts so the couple could do without her dowry.

 …Did you know that the second Sunday in February each year is World Marriage Day. The National World Marriage Day brochure says that “by 1982, 43 Governors officially proclaimed the day and celebrations spread to U.S. military bases in several foreign countries.”

      … Did you know that classical music affects the brain’s organization and abilities, through its melody and rhythm. The rhythm raises the level of serotonin produced in your brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, involved in the transmission of nerve impulses that helps maintaining joyous feelings. When the brain produces serotonin, tension is eased. In fact depression is a consequence of the scarce production of this hormone. Serotonin is released when the brain is “positively shocked”. For instance: if we look at a splendid painting, smell a delicious scent, feel an extraordinary sensation, eat something delicious or listen to some charming music, then the brain lets off a certain amount of serotonin which arouses and maximizes pleasant feelings. Music’s rhythm can also stimulate other natural cadencies of the body, resembling the heartbeat, or the Alfa-rhythm of the brain, and this effect is used to counter the development of clinical depression. The melody instead, is the “sparkle” that catalyses the creative process in our minds.

Music and Education

Category: On teaching

I found the PDF file below not long ago… It has some interesting facts on connection between music and education. I am not sure how many of these studies are true, but I do agree with some of them. Double click on the link below to open the PDF file.

Music and Education facts

Violin fingering chart and practising chart

Category: On teaching